Bass level difference between theaters and home theaters

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by LawrenceK, Nov 21, 2001.

  1. LawrenceK

    LawrenceK Stunt Coordinator

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    Whenever I go to see a movie at the theater, it seems that the bass is toned down much lower than I have it set in my HT. Members on the forum describe various passages in movies where you should "feel the bass", and I can definately feel these key scenes on my setup (which is calibrated using Video Essentials), yet I rarely remember feeling, or hearing, that kind of bass in the movie theater. Now before you dismiss it as "the theaters have it set incorrectly" I would like to state that the theaters I am comparing my HT to are VERY nice and were just recently redone. So I guess my question is: is everybody on the forum just listening to setups with way too much bass? Do the theaters have it correct, and should I aim for that kind of sound in my own HT? Right now it seems to me like the theaters have the more balanced sound...please let me know what's going on..
     
  2. Michael Reuben

    Michael Reuben Studio Mogul

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    No matter how carefully it's calibrated, a "near-field" HT environment will never sound the same as a large auditorium. Think about where you're sitting in relation to the subwoofer(s) in each location. When you're at home, the bass waves are emanating from a source much closer to you, and they don't have to pass through dozens of additional seats and bodies before reaching you. It's not surprising that you "feel" the bass more at home.

    M.
     
  3. Mario_C

    Mario_C Stunt Coordinator

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    The other thing to consider is that most people in this forum run their sub(s) 6 to 12 dB hot. I just to run my sub 6db over when I first got in HT. Over time I got tired of the bass heavy sound, and back down my sub at the same level as my mains.
     
  4. Jeremy Anderson

    Jeremy Anderson Screenwriter

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    Also, your home isn't as acoustically neutral as most movie theaters are designed to be... unless your home is made of cinder block and thick curtains. [​IMG]
    Room acoustics can boost certain frequencies and nullify others, so I'm sure that's part of the difference. And if not, well it sure sounded good!
     
  5. Philip Hamm

    Philip Hamm Lead Actor

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    I don't think it's as complicated as most here have described.

    I think it's just that most theaters have modest or inadequate subs for the size of their rooms.
     
  6. Holadem

    Holadem Lead Actor

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    I know of a couple of theaters in NYC where you can definitly feel the bass. Most of the rooms are THX certified.

    68th Lincoln Sq - room LOEWS (THX)

    Loews Kips Bay - room 10

    14th Union Sq - room 8 (THX)

    ...come to mind. There are others.

    Eben my 20-39PC does not punch me in the chest like ch 29 of the matrix or Episode I did in those rooms. On the other hand, I feel vibrations much better in my room - hardwood floor and all.

    --

    Holadem
     
  7. Jim Robbins

    Jim Robbins Stunt Coordinator

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    I agree with Philip and I beleive many theaters keep bass controlled to prevent interference in ajoining units. I have never heard bass in a theater (not even IMAX)that goes as low as my sub.
     
  8. Lewis Besze

    Lewis Besze Producer

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  9. Jack Gilvey

    Jack Gilvey Producer

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  10. Michael Reuben

    Michael Reuben Studio Mogul

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    While I agree that many theaters have inadequate equipment or limit their volume or frequency response, there are theaters that don't (Holadem gave some good examples). And even those theaters will sound and "feel" different from a well-calibrated HT. Near-field is just different.

    M.
     
  11. Wayne Bundrick

    Wayne Bundrick Cinematographer

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    A small room is going to have a lot of modal standing waves in the bass frequencies.
     
  12. Jimmy P

    Jimmy P Stunt Coordinator

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    To be honest,most people have their sub or subs set way to
    high (level).This sounds impressive for showing off their
    hardware,but its not very natural sounding or accurate.
    Since you are the one that has to be pleased,set it where you like.[​IMG]
     
  13. Lewis Besze

    Lewis Besze Producer

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  14. Jon_B

    Jon_B Screenwriter

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    My ht room is much, much, much smaller than a cinema plex. Because of this I have a lot of bass. I have my sub turned down to -11 on my reciever in an attempt to try and correct this.

    Jon
     

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